Pakistan can’t progress until the wadera system ends, says comedian Ali Gul Pir

Pakistan can’t progress until the wadera system ends, says comedian Ali Gul Pir

He called out feudal culture in reference to a video in which a man washes his shoes with mineral water while people sit and watch.
Updated 31 Aug, 2022

A video circulating on social media has sparked a debate about wadera culture and the feudal system in Pakistan. The issue has also been highlighted by comedian Ali Gul Pir, who had some very serious things to say.

In the video, the man, who was confirmed to be Sindh MNA Ameer Ali Shah Jillani to Dawn, is seated comfortably on a charpoy while villagers sit on the ground around him. He drinks a soft drink from a can and cleans his shoes with mineral water. It is unclear whether the video is recent but Gul Pir used it to shift the discussion to wadera [feudal lord] culture in general and how it needs to end, once and for all.

Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, Gul Pir shared his thoughts about the video clip and had written, “These are the leaders of Sindh. Who sip cold drinks, get fanned and wash their shoes with mineral water while flood affected homeless people sit on the floor.”

Later, in a series of stories, he said he isn’t sure if the video is recent, but “the issue is not this person, the issue is the soch [mentality] and then when these people are held accountable, people react and when they rebel, see what happens to them just like it did for Nazim Jokhio.”

Nazim Jokhio was a man whose tortured body was found at the Malir farmhouse of PPP MPA for Thatta Jam Awais Bijar Khan Jokhio on Nov 3, 2021. He had reportedly earned the ire of the landowner when he tried to prevent his foreign guests from hunting endangered houbara bustard in Thatta district.

Gul Pir went on to say that Sindh and Pakistan overall can’t progress until “wadera nizam [feudal culture] comes to an end,” whether it is through education, equal opportunity or development. “When people will be given opportunity they won’t fall for these tactics. If they have the right to make a choice, they will choose what they want,” he reasoned.

He also gave a shout-out to the people making an effort and helping others out. “There are a lot of good people who are doing good things in Pakistan in regards to the floods, there are a lot of people who are helping others out. I will share the names of those helping out and will dedicate a post to it. Let’s support the people doing good and donate as much as we can so things get better for people,” he concluded.

This isn’t the first time the comedian has raised concerns around the feudal system. In 2012, the singer released a song called ‘Waderai Ka Beta’ that became the talk of the town instantly for its lyrics highlighting the stereotypes of feudal lords, how they dress, behave and boast about their wealth. The song shot him to fame and he has used his platform to discuss serious topics ever since. Recently, he launched his own content company, The Third Act.